Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Perhaps RG3 Should Take the D-Rose Route

By Heidi Leach  @heidileach

I’ve never had a huge problem admitting when I am wrong. It happens sometimes. I prefer to be right, and I gloat when I am, but I’ll raise my hand and step up when I realize I said something stupid. 

So here it goes.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Derrick Rose for giving him so much crap for not playing once he was cleared to do so last NBA season. I said he was being a wimp. I said he wasn’t there for his team. We mocked him, made jokes and still he sat on the bench in his suit and watched his teammates struggle to get as far into the playoffs as they did. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

You see, I’m a Redskins fan. Week two of the NFL season is behind us and I now realize that I wish my beloved quarterback, Robert Griffin III, had done just what D-Rose did. All the hype, all the Adidas ads; they were around for Rose too, but he chose to sit and make sure he was ready. After watching 10 minutes of RG3, we all could see he was NOT ready.  He is still not ready and he’s stinking up the joint. He has proven that just because the doctor clears you to play does not mean you should play. 

Rose understood that. We did not. Apparently RG3 is in our group as well.

Until this weekend, I never thought to compare the two athletes.  Understandably so. Unless you are talking about LeBron James, football and basketball players are not often compared side by side.  In the case of Derrick Rose and Robert Griffin III it actually works.  Same injury.  Both are incredibly captivating to watch in their own sport. No one was more entertaining than RG3 last season. And D-Rose, well he doesn’t even need an explanation.  He’s as fun to watch as LeBron and you can crucify me for saying it if you want, but that's how I feel. 

Not having those two guys on the field or court is tough for their teams.  They are not just extraordinary athletes; they are leaders. They are also cash cows.

Six months ago I said that the Bulls needed Rose on the floor even if just for a few minutes of the game. However, they scraped together an impressive run with a group of basketball players whose bodies were falling apart before our eyes. I guess they really didn’t need him to get that far.

Plus, they weren't going to beat Miami whether Rose played or not.

Now here I sit watching my precious football team get their butts handed to them two weeks in a row.  All this while a perfectly healthy and very capable backup quarterback (who could be the starter on about 20 other NFL teams) sits on the bench.  “Have faith” we tell ourselves.  Stop being naïve, Redskins fans.  RG3 is still hurt.  He looks like he’s hurt.  He is not a pocket passer. Everything is wrong about this offense. It's like caging a wild animal. 

It. Doesn’t. Work.

The argument against this is that if RG3 were not playing right now, Redskins fans would be in an uproar over that.  Some of them would, but only the stupid ones. For the record, I never wanted him to start.  I repeated that often and to many people so I'd have witnesses when the current situation arose.  In the alternate scenario, Kirk Cousins would have started each of these last two games.  We may have lost them in that other dimension as well, but I’m fairly certain it would not have been in the incredibly embarrassing fashion it was (Excuse me for a moment while I go crawl back into bed and sob uncontrollably for a while). 

Maybe the Skins would be 1-1 or maybe, by some miracle they would have beaten Green Bay too.  Yeah, I’m laughing at that too, but I am talking about another dimension, anything is possible there.

Back to Derrick Rose. He made the informed decision not to play because he knew he was not ready.  I should have listened to that instead of mocking it.  “What?  He’s not playing because he can’t comfortably dunk off that leg yet?  You’re kidding?! Put on a uniform and shoot the basketball, boy!” 

That’s cringe-worthy now. I wish RG3 were doing interviews about how he is not playing until he could hit Rex Grossman in the eyeball with a football while throwing it off his bad leg as he falls to the ground because Ray Lewis is tackling him. All in for week one, my butt. It is clear now that being physically ready and mentally ready are not always simultaneous. In this case, I don’t believe Griffin is either. He can make all the commercials, do the jumping jacks, talk a big game if he wants. The proof is in the pudding and we have seen two weeks of some pretty nasty pudding. 

So D-Rose, I’m sorry for all the trash talk.  I get it now.  I have learned my lesson.  I have also learned that Adrian Peterson is, in fact, a robot and that all Redskins fans, regardless of their profession, completely overreact to everything.

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